Monday, 28 December 2015


With the best of intentions and in good time I sat down and prepared the Pre-Desert Detours Christmas and New Year Blog entry……… Then it all “went to rats” as they say and it didn’t get posted. So with some minor editing we now have the shortened in-between event version.
WHERE DID IT GO? ...........................


I know, as time slips by we all say that at some time or other during the year. But honestly where has this year gone?

Against all the odds 2015 has turned out to be one of our busiest touring years ever….yes we had some “odds” to overcome….. Lol ….. as they say. New and additional staff, vehicle matters, additional legalities and regulations etc. etc……. not to mention the inevitable anti-Morocco references. But the fact is that we ran EVERY scheduled tour. Only one tour [due to late cancellations/breakdown] ran under numbers, which was not a problem, while all the others were fully booked.

Anyway the best advert for touring Morocco is……Morocco. So I am leaving you this month with just a selection of photographs taken by an American client, Ryel and Joll Kestano,  on our November tour…….



And client comments are by far our best recommendation so with permission I quote from an email from Steve and Lynda Hugill who also recently joined us on tour.
"We had a fantastic time on our tour of Morocco.  Our expectations were all well exceeded.  We think your pacing of the tour was perfect.  You gradually introduced us to the Moroccan culture and way of life.  We've never experienced anything like it on our previous travels!  We would like to say a big thank you to you, Debbie and Hammid for such a wonderful experience".
Next year [2016] has already well surpassed our best expectations; leaving us with just a few places available on the March/April and Sept/Oct tour dates…..and incredibly we already have confirmed more than a few firm bookings for 2017…………Retirement is on hold yet again!!!!

1st Mar ‘16

THE MOROCCAN “CLASSIC” TOUR Trans Riff-Atlas-Forest-Sahara-Atlantic Coast

1st April ‘16

THE MOROCCAN “CLASSIC” TOUR Trans Riff-Atlas-Forest-Sahara-Atlantic Coast


3rd SEPT ‘16

Trans Riff-Atlas-Forest-Sahara-Atlantic Coast


1st Oct ‘16

Trans Riff-Atlas-Forest-Sahara-Atlantic Coast



Inevitably we get clients cancel or change tour dates but rather than continually post our full 2016/17 schedule contact us to check if there is availability…….remember, except for high summer we are in Morocco EVERY month. 

Should there be demand we may perhaps schedule additional tours during MAY and NOVEMBER. Let us know as soon as possible if you have these months in mind.

From our [Desert Detours] point of view and observations Christmas and the New Year can be very special and so much fun in Morocco. Our own tours over this period have always been some of our busiest, with bookings running years ahead. Christmas day on the sand dunes of the Sahara and then moving on to celebrate the arrival of a New Year in Marrakech is by any standard both astounding and amazing.

In the West the celebration of Christmas has become mired in confusion and commercialism and that modern and mercantile "spirit of Christmas" has it seems reached Morocco. While many are embracing some aspects, for other Moroccans the festival is an anathema  
"We don't need Christmas in Morocco," one Moroccan Riad said, owner said “In fact a lot of my guests say they are coming to Morocco to escape what they call the “Christmas madness". One of our clients said that there were Christmas commercials on TV way back in the beginning of November!"
Ask many tourists arriving in Morocco over the festive holiday period and they will tell you that they want to get away from the commercial hype and secular "celebrations" of Christmas. In England and in many European countries the Christmas season gets under way weeks before the actual date and its biggest impact is on the national economies and personal credit cards.

For devout Christians, Christmas can be observed in simple ways, but each year it becomes more and more secular and divorced from its roots. Sadly, it is this style of Christmas that has arrived in Morocco. And, it will be no surprise that Christmas is embraced far more strongly by the younger generations. At the same time many young Moroccans are forgetting elements of their own culture.

Tinsel, toys, candle-holders, candles, candies, garlands and wooden ornaments can be found in markets. The lights, sounds and sentiment that symbolised and celebrated home and family has moved outward into public streets and stores. There are now street decorations in some parts of Morocco.

Since the celebration focuses on the secular aspects of the “Prophet” Jesus, some conservative Muslims frown upon the act of celebrating Christmas, arguing that it is a sort of “bida”, a fad that has not been taught by Prophet Mohamed.

Most modern Moroccans do not have this attitude. Yet opinions vary widely. Some say that Christmas is an occasion for them to greet their Christian friends. Others see it as a way of showing tolerance, while others are less than impressed with the commercialisation and also reject it on cultural and religious grounds, saying that Christmas does not represent Moroccan Islamic culture and celebrating it is synonymous with blindly adopting others’ lifestyles and cultural aspects.

I should stress that this does NOT manifest itself into any sort of physical or verbal conflict.

…….. That’s it, just a short Christmas/New Year Blog issue [I may get around to an early New Year one!]. So once again from all at Desert Detours……have a great holiday wherever you may be? 

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